A quick word on Copyright and what legalities are required of you

Having an ISBN does not secure your copyright status. This is given to you automatically when you use the © on your title verso page. An ISBN is used purely to be able to sell your book in bookshops and through online retailers. A big myth is that an ISBN ‘secures’ your copyright. This is simply untrue. Therefore, please do your due diligence BEFORE buying your ISBN. There are legalities associated with it, plus other expenses, which first-time authors aren’t aware of.

These legalities are not made by Compass-Publishing UK, rather they are enforced by Nielsens, which is where we will be registering your book once it’s printed and therefore are part of your purchasing agreement with me, Compass-Publishing UK.

What it means when you purchase an ISBN – who then becomes the publisher?

If you are wanting to sell your book in bookshops or on sites like Amazon.co.uk (or .com) then you will need an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). This is the black and white lined graphic (with 13 numbers underneath) that appears on the back of the book jacket.

While your book is at the typesetters you’ll need to apply for an ISBN*.

You can do this several ways;

1. Buy from a broker.

Like us, Compass-Publishing UK. If you buy an ISBN from us, then we become the publisher (as we own the ISBN).

Compass-Publishing is unique in that we relinquish any copyright or royalties from your work, and any profits from your book are yours. 

We also register your book for you – but YOU are responsible for sending the books to the libraries.

Currently, a single ISBN through Compass-Publishing UK is £75

2. Buy ISBNs direct from Nielsens.

You will need to give the dimensions of your book, including the total page count and you will have to supply the ‘Title Verso’ page – ask your typesetter for this.

NOTE: You have to buy a minimum of 10 (at a cost of roughly £120) so if you are not planning on writing another book, I suggest you stick with me.


3. Your book cover designer might provide an ISBN for you. (Ask if this is included when you’re sourcing a book cover designer – see below for more details.)

One thing to remember – once you have purchased your ISBN (if not supplied by your cover designer) you will have to download or convert it into a barcode like graphic.

*Just remember, if you do decide to buy your own ISBN – they can take up to 10 working days (from submission) so do calculate that when applying for it.

Remember, whichever way you get your ISBN, the subsequent publisher must be declared on your title verso page.

If you have any questions regarding ISBN’s or publishing rights, please do get in touch.
Email me at info@compass-publishing.com and I will answer any questions you may have.